Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cardiologist Joins GRMC's Visiting Specialty Clinic

Cardiologist Joins GRMC’s Visiting Specialty Clinic

Grinnell Regional Medical Center welcomed Ramzi Nassouhi El Accaoui, MD, cardiologist from The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in January. El Accaoui
(L ah-COW-ee) will see patients in the GRMC Visiting Specialty Clinic on the second floor of the Ahrens Medical Arts Building.
As a cardiologist with The University of Iowa College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics, El Accaoui provides follow-up care to cardiac care patients having been seen at the university. He also provides evaluations and consults in the clinic for patients who are referred by their physicians.
El Accaoui earned his medical degree from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He also completed an internal medicine residency at both the American University of Beirut Medical Center, and The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He also completed a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at the The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
“We’ve very pleased to welcome Dr. El Accaoui. He’s a highly trained cardiologist, giving Grinnell residents another option for care. He will be an excellent addition to our specialty clinic,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO.

El Accaoui began in January replacing Michael Kienzle, MD, cardiologist, The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, who accepted a leadership position with the UI’s new Iowa River Landing Outreach Clinics. Physicians can refer patients by calling the GRMC Visiting Specialty Clinic at 641-236-2925. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Healthcare Day at the State Capitol

The Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary invites the public to participate in the annual Iowa Hospital Association’s Legislative Day, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 27. Legislative Day allows area residents to be healthcare advocates about the government’s role in healthcare policy and funding.

This year’s Legislative Day will begin with lunch and program at the new Veterans Memorial Ballroom. The GRMC Auxiliary has reserved a motorcoach to transport area residents to Des Moines. The coach will leave Grinnell at 10 a.m. Greg Boattenhamer, IHA government relations senior vice president, will discuss the 2013 legislative agenda.

Another highlight of the day is meeting with legislators representing the Poweshiek County area. Plans are in the works to meet with State Senator Dave Maxwell and State Representative Guy Vander Linden.  

To sign up for this free event, please call the GRMC volunteer office at 641-236-2588, or email at kolson@grmc.us, by Monday, Feb. 4. 

Legislative Day is the largest annual gathering of healthcare advocates during the year, with more than 1,000 in attendance. The event, sponsored by Iowa Hospital Association, is free to all hospital supporters across the state. The purpose of Legislative Day is to give hospital advocates the tools and skills needed to directly address issues facing Iowa hospitals, healthcare providers, and citizens with their legislators at the Iowa Statehouse. Grinnell Regional Medical Center has been a leader in this program with an average of 40 participants attending in recent years.

“Funding for Medicaid to hospitals and healthcare providers is always under scrutiny for Iowa’s budget,” explains Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “Preserving Iowa’s Medicaid program – both in terms of services to beneficiaries and payments to healthcare providers – must continue to be an important funding priority for our state government.” 

The IHA provides legislative papers explaining current healthcare topics. Issues under consideration include behavioral health, health benefit exchanges, quality mandates, and oversight of ambulatory surgery centers. 

Grinnell Regional Wellness and Fitness Center

“Through support and encouragement by staff at Grinnell Regional Wellness Services, I feel healthier,” says Barb Roland, Grinnell. “My physical joint pain is less and emotionally I feel so much better. After eight months of using the fitness center daily, I’ve dropped my glucose level, triglycerides, and the risk of having a heart attack. That’s emotionally very significant.”

The GRMC Wellness and Fitness staff focus on lifelong health and wellness. The services emphasize that wellness and health are personalized to each individual. A wellness program succeeds when it’s customized to the person’s needs and expectations.

“Our approach to lifelong health helps our members balance all elements of their lives – stress management, nutrition, cardiovascular health, energy levels, and sense of being. We work with members to identify realistic expectations for their health and exercise program,” says Grace Kniep, one of the newest exercise specialists at GRMC Wellness and Fitness.

All members of the GRMC Wellness and Fitness Center receive a monthly personal training session, free, to review goals, achievements, and enhance exercise regimen. Roland recently took advantage of the personal training sessions available and has expanded her exercise routine to include the weight machines. She didn’t think she could use them because of her joint pain caused by bursitis and tendonitis.

“With Grace’s help, I can do these machines. She helped me figure out what worked for me”, says Roland. “The positive reinforcement by staff, as well as other class participants makes a big different. I can’t believe how easy it is to ask questions and talk with the instructors. They are all very friendly and positive.

Members also benefit from an incentive program to encourage relaxation with a “60 in 6 gets you a 60” program. Members who exercise 60 times in six months receive a 60-minute massage for free. It’s an excellent way to reward oneself for exercising regularly.

Coming in 2013, GRMC announces changes with the locations of services. Plans are in the works to create a larger space to accommodate family programming, more free weights, a dedicated Spinning® area, and dedicated group exercise area. All these services will be in one location along with integrated therapies. 

For more information about the Grinnell Regional Wellness and Fitness, call 641-236-2999. Information is available online at www.grmc.us/wellness/health.html.

GRMC Rural Health Clinics Donate More than $3,000 to Schools

Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s rural clinics completed wellness sports physicals for students in the area.  In 2012, GRMC distributed $3,120 to seven school districts. GRMC’s three rural clinics include Deer Creek Family Care (Toledo), Lynnville Medical Clinic, and the Victor Health Center.

This program takes a portion of the fees paid for the physicals and donates them to the school of the student’s choice. Donations were made to BGM school district, Green Mountain/Garwin school district, Grinnell Newburg schools, HLV school district, Lynnville-Sully school district, Marshalltown Community schools, and South Tama County school district.

The long-standing program supports community schools while serving an important role to ensure students are in good physical condition to participate in sports activities. The providers at the three GRMC clinics use these physicals to also engage students in conversations about their health, body image, and nutrition.

“Young people may be intimidated to ask a question and won’t make an appointment to talk to a health provider. This wellness exam opens the doors for conversation and education between providers and students. In healthcare, the family care providers are the focal or starting point for questions. We want young people to begin establishing relationships with health professionals,” explains Sheryl Rutledge, GRMC rural health clinics director.

For more information on the rural health clinics and programs, contact Rutledge at 641-484-5720.

Friday, January 18, 2013

GRMC Limits Visitors to Prevent Spread of Widespread Viruses

Grinnell Regional Medical Center is asking for help in the effort to protect patients from multiple widespread viruses: If you are sick, please don’t come for a visit.

Effective immediately, GRMC is asking visitors for their help in protecting patients and staff by not coming to the hospital with a sore throat, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. This includes those who are visiting inpatient and obstetrical areas.

“These limits on hospital visitors will help us protect our most vulnerable population from exposure to multiple, severe viruses,” says Terri Kelling, RN, GRMC infection prevention coordinator. “This is important for GRMC’s commitment to patient safety. If you feel unwell, please don’t come to the hospital unless you are coming for medical treatment.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the influenza outbreak in 2013 could be the worst in 10 years, and that seems to bearing true locally. Influenza-associated hospitalizations have significantly increased in the State of Iowa in the past week. Outpatient visits have increased as well.

“Influenza-like illness is widespread in Poweshiek County and the State of Iowa right now,” says Patty Hinrichs, coordinator of Grinnell Regional Public Health.

A norovirus also seems to be very widespread at this time.

“Outbreaks of norovirus are very common right now,” says Patricia Quinlisk, MD, MPH, Iowa State Epidemiologist. “Most of the time, if there is diarrhea involved, it is norovirus. When we see outbreaks in schools, it’s usually influenza and norovirus. Norovirus is present year-round, but we seem to see it more frequently in the winter.”

Hand sanitizer is not effective on norovirus, Kelling says. “Only good, old-fashioned soap and water can kill a norovirus.”

Hospital Restrictions
In GRMC’s inpatient rooms and the Kintzinger Women’s Health Center, no more than two visitors 18 and older (grandparents, other family member, friends, co-worker, etc.) are allowed at a time. Children under 18 will not be allowed to visit patients anywhere in the medical center unless they are a sibling. Siblings will be screened for symptoms before being allowed to visit.

Visitors should refrain from visiting if they have had any of the following symptoms in the past seven days: nausea, fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, diarrhea, or vomiting. All visitors are required to wash their hands with soap or sanitizing gel when going into a patient’s room. In some cases, individuals will be required to wear masks if coming to the medical center for medical care.
The CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination for people who have not yet been vaccinated this season. Grinnell Regional Public Health is still offering flu shots. For an appointment, please call 641-236-2385.

The Glass Gift Box, The Neon Café, and outpatient areas remain open for all visitors, although those who are ill should stay home.

“If you are ill, you should stay home,” says Patty Hinrichs, Poweshiek County Public Health Coordinator. “Don’t go to school, work, or public places if you are sick.”
The restrictions will remain in place indefinitely, Kelling says.

Organizations and Donors Benefit from Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation

The Mayflower Community, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, and the Grinnell Area Arts Council are the latest recipient organizations to benefit from gifts to the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation.

At the close of 2012, Bruce and Martha Voyles made the decision to donate a gift of appreciated stock to the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation and directed their gift to be invested in funds designated for the Grinnell Area Arts Council, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, and the Mayflower Community’s Human Needs Endowment Fund. They also created a donor-advised endowment that gives them the opportunity to specify each year where the proceeds from the endowment are used in the community.

“There were many benefits to using our community foundation to make these gifts,” says Bruce Voyles. “We appreciate the flexibility to make the donations as we wish them to be.”

The Voyles gave a gift of stock that Bruce had received from his grandmother when he turned 21.

“The capital gains tax after 45 years would have been substantial,” Voyles says, “but there is no tax when stock is given to a charitable foundation so the entire value of the stock can go toward charitable ends. And, of course, I can take a deduction on my taxes for the full value of the stock donation.”

Certain gifts to GPCF are eligible for Endow Iowa tax credit. In addition to normal federal charitable income tax deductions for certain charitable gifts, Endow Iowa also allows taxpayers to receive a 25 percent Iowa tax credit.

“The Endow Iowa incentive is one way the Legislature can help strengthen Iowa’s small communities,” says Martha Voyles. “It is not only altruistic, but it is also good for the welfare of Iowa’s towns as funds are reinvested through community foundations. We’ve supported the Arts Council and hospital for more than 30 years and began supporting the Mayflower Human Needs fund when we moved here about five years ago. The GPCF endowments mean that we can continue to support these important organizations far into the future.”

Austin Jones is the president of the GPCF and serves as treasurer for the Grinnell Area Arts Council.
“Everyone wins in this situation,” Jones says. “Donors can support the organizations they care about and receive excellent tax incentives. The community as a whole benefits because of the services these organizations provide for our quality of life.”

Through a community foundation, gifts are pooled for investment purposes, creating the potential for a better return on the investment than if each individual organization or fund invested separately. Donors can direct their gifts to specific funds, or not. Undesignated gifts help to build the unrestricted endowment to meet future community needs.

“Endowment gifts are truly visionary,” says Denise Lamphier, director of communications and development at GRMC. “These are funds that benefit the next generation of area residents who will rely on GRMC to be here when they need medical care. GRMC is fortunate to have several donors, including the Voyles, who support GRMC’s endowment fund at the community foundation ensuring that exceptional care will be here for decades to come.”

Bob Mann is the executive director of Mayflower Community in Grinnell and a member of the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation board.

“The Mayflower Community is honored to be considered by Bruce and Martha for this gift that will forever produce income to help pay for healthcare for those whose funds have been depleted,” Mann says. “One of the biggest fears that older people have is outliving their resources, but due to people living longer, it is happening more and more. In our 62-year history, we have had a number of people who have been faithful stewards of their resources, but have still run out of funds in the later stages of their life.  Our Human Needs Endowment Fund has assured that no Mayflower resident has been asked to leave because they couldn’t pay. The Voyles’ gift will help continue this legacy.”

For more information about Endow Iowa, or ways to make gifts through the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation, contact Delphina Baumann at 641-236-5518, or www.greaterpcf.org. For more information about Mayflower Community, contact Bob Mann at 641-236-6151 and to learn about GRMC, call Denise Lamphier at 641-236-2589.